Growing up in the south, and having parents from Louisiana and South Carolina, it’s safe to say that I’ve had my fair share of good comfort food. I look forward to my mother’s gumbo EVERY Christmas – just the thought of cajun spices, savory broth and seafood with spicy sausage just makes my mouth water. I was pretty upset when I learned that I’d have to give up so many of the foods that I loved as a kid. It wasn’t fair!
I always thought that it didn’t make sense that God would bless us with these amazing foods on earth and then say we couldn’t enjoy it.
I was right. It was all about preparation and portion control. So with that I set out on transforming some of my favorite foods to be more calorie conscious so that they could better support my wellness goals.
Here’s one of those recipes that I was able to transform and enjoy all year long! It’s easy to customize for your goals and is actually keto-friendly.
Ingredients for 5 servings:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (1.5 tablespoon minced garlic)
- 1 cup diced red onion
- 1lb chicken breast, cut into chunks
- 8oz smoked turkey sausage, cut into chunks
- 8oz jumbo raw shrimp (peeled, deveined)
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in quarters (about 8-10 tomatoes)
- 8oz tomato sauce (no salt if available)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups raw cauliflower rice (you can purchase this already made or make your own – see my note below)
- Green onions, thinly sliced
- Prepare the cauliflower rice by placing raw cauliflower florets in a food processor or blender. Pulse blend until the cauliflower has a rice-like texture. Careful not to over do it so that the cauliflower becomes minced.
- Pro-tip: Cauliflower has a LOT of water and often times it can make recipes “soupy.” Empty the cauliflower contents onto a cheesecloth and wrap it up like a ball. Squeeze the ball of cauliflower in order to get out all of the water. Once you squeeze out the most amount of water as possible, empty the contents onto another dry piece of cheesecloth and repeat. After squeezing the second time, I like to spread the cauliflower out on a paper towel and let it air dry for at least 20 minutes so that it can be as dry as possible.
- Set a large nonstick skillet on medium high heat and add olive oil, garlic and red onions. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, allowing the onion to brown. Be careful not to let the garlic burn.
- Add the chicken and turkey sausage and cook until the outside of the chicken is no longer pink, about 6 to 8 minutes
- Add bell pepper, celery and cherry tomatoes. Stir. Then, add tomato sauce and the seasonings. Stir and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Fold in the cauliflower rice and the raw shrimp. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Pour in the chicken broth, tomato paste and the bay leaves. Add a few pinches of sea salt and pepper, then stir it up. Reduce the heat to medium and cover. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Uncover, then remove the skillet from the heat, stir it up and allow the jambalaya to “breathe” and thicken. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper, then garnish with green onions.
Approximate macros for 1 of 5 servings:
323 calories, 17g carbohydrates, 13g fat, 34g protein, 3g fiber, 8g sugar